Changing – Guest Post – Jessi Schafer

Your brokenness is exactly what brings you closer to God.

Your difficulties and hardships are opportunities to grow closer to our Savior… to really get to know Him… to dive deep into His Word and let Him begin to transform you in the most significant ways. Each battle will teach you something new, or in many cases, teach you what you’ve already been taught but lost sight of. When things happen that’s just out of your control, it’s so easy to let your emotions and feelings take over. We all have them. We are all broken in a sense. We have weaknesses, and we have flaws. But we don’t have to live with them. We can grow through each battle if we really want to. We can count to five, and we can have the willpower to make a change.

I think the hardest part about wanting change in ourselves is needing to see it instantly–hoping tomorrow we will just be a new person… more patient, more truthful, less afraid, more motivated, all around just a better version of who we were today.

But if we constantly focus on who we want our future selves to be, then we miss out on who we could be right now.

Not perfect–flawed but in the most beautiful way because God is with us. Jesus is a part of all of us. Deep in our souls–all of His goodness is there.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Colossians 1:15-23

**For more on this topic, click here.**

It’s just covered by sin and our pasts and our failures. We let those things take over when things get hard, but if we let God take over when things get hard, He will uncover who Jesus is in us.

He will show you how incredible He is by unraveling who you are and what you’re capable of.

Each day is a day of new opportunity for growth. There’s not much time in the day so to expect a whole new you in a day is unrealistic. Each day is shaping you and refining you. Don’t let a day define who you are. Read God’s Word, and let Him define who you are–treasured and one of a kind.

You can look at what you go through in so many different ways. You can use it as an excuse. You can use it to try and compare yourself to someone else, or you can use it as a challenge or a blessing. Your situation may not be ideal or fun or pleasing for you, but it’s not always about you–it’s about God and His glory. Your tragedy is your opportunity to be closer to God, and your story will be someone else’s freedom. They will hear it and see what God has done in you, and they will stop feeling hopeless. They will see the light.

Let God strengthen you so that He can strengthen someone else with your story.

Everyone has a little bit of Jesus in them whether they believe it or not (see the verses and video referenced above). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Go find Him. Get to know Him. He already knows you. He wants to make you whole. He wants to help you be who you deep down want to be. All that’s required of you is to accept His free gift of salvation.

I’m not saying any of this is easy–it’s not, but it’s true when people say nothing worth doing is ever easy. That’s kind of the point. It takes true self-reflection and honesty with yourself. Those thoughts in your head that you try to ignore… confront them. Tell them to someone, or pray about them. Pray for answers on what they mean or how to navigate through them. Eliminate the things that take you back to a place you don’t want to be. Remember the times you felt good. Don’t let your mind convince you those days are over.

Those days have not even begun–the joy that comes with knowing the Lord is unimaginable. You’ll never understand it until you begin to face life’s trials and let God hold your hand through them. No one can do it all on their own. We need God just like we need each other. We were never meant to live this life alone. We were made for community and made to love one another and guide one another to God’s promises. 

Share your story, wherever you are. You never need to hide–God knows it all. Let the people who love you in. Let them hear your struggle. Let them hold you when you’re weak. Let them listen. Let them cry with you. Let them hurt with you.

As soon as you open yourself up and stop being afraid of who you are in this moment, you will have the strength to move forward. Accept it and embrace it because it’s not going to be you forever. God has a plan for you if you let Him. He will guide you through it and make you whole again.

I write these words because I’ve been wrestling with these concepts. I’ve been so afraid of failing that I’ve missed out on so many opportunities. I’ve been so distracted by who I am not and what I am not doing that I have missed out on my “right now.” I’ve been so worried about being the best version of myself, I got lost being the worst version of myself. I’ve been afraid of showing how weak I actually am that I missed the opportunity to prove how strong I’m becoming.

But there’s never a “too late.”

There’s always a second chance. Just take it. Grab on tight, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride because if you let go of your plan and surrender to His plan, He will show you the beauty that lies all around you.

Even in a broken world, you will find joy, and you will find peace. 

“The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose water never runs dry.”

Isaiah 58:11

“Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I bear Your Name, Lord God of Armies.”

Jeremiah 15:16

“For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this Word is the Gospel that was proclaimed to you.”

1 Peter 1:24-25

“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in my Word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”

John 8:31-32

“In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to You and watch expectantly.”

Psalm 5:3

“The person who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

-Jessi

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